Competition for large sums of money, by playing an ‘electronic sport’.
Is this a real job? Can competitive gaming seriously be considered a proper sport?
Millions of dollars up for grabs on a regular basis, broadcasted to hundreds of thousands of spectators both through mediums such as Twitch.TV & TV as well as thousands of live spectators, packing stadiums & cheering on their heros. Heck, they even have their own commentators!
The Oxford dictionary definition of the word ‘sport’:-
“An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Now, most of these ‘electronic sports’ are played on a PC or games console. So physical exertion? Believe it or not, for certain games, yes.
Take one of the fastest growing eSport titles of 2015, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the game & how it plays out, teams fight it out on a map with two bombsites. A game consists of two halves, one team starts on the Counter-Terrorist side & another starts on the Terrorist side. As you may have guessed, the aim for the Terrorists each round is to either wipe out all the Counter-Terrorists before they get killed themselves or plant the bomb and protect it until it explodes. Meanwhile the aim for the Counter-Terrorists is to run down the clock and halt any incoming Terrorist attacks, of course also by preventing the bomb being planted. Very similar to the search & destroy game mode in Call of Duty.
So, where is the physical exertion? Firstly, the game requires constant tactical thought which by itself in my opinion is an example of physical exertion. However, the main physical aspect in my opinion – where Counter-Strike trumps most other eSports – is the ability to aim & control movement via the use of a keyboard & mouse. We are talking about players with pixel point accuracy who lock on to a target (no aim assist for you console casuals 😉 ) & fire off a head in a matter of seconds. Similar to someone who perhaps can take phenomenal free kicks in a game such as football. Does this justify the dictionary definition?
So to wrap things up, is competitive gaming a sport? Even though there are hundreds of professional gamers out there who compete for thousands of dollars on a regular basis for a living? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.